Published: Tue, August 13, 2019

Russia tells Google not to advertise `illegal` events after election protests

Russia tells Google not to advertise `illegal` events after election protests

The rallies, some unsanctioned, have rocked Moscow for the past month, with the largest on Saturday drawing up to 60,000 people.

It said the channels use "advertising instruments" such as "push notifications" to "disrupt elections" and warned Google that Moscow will view inaction on its part as "meddling in Russia's sovereign elections".

Russian Senator Andery Klimov said on the day of the protests that YouTube was used by the opposition to promote the rallies that were reportedly peaceful at first until some protesters chose to take their cause to the streets, RT reported.

YouTube is a Google subsidiary.

Russia's opposition figures have organized rallies in downtown Moscow over the past three Saturdays after they were denied candidacy in the Moscow city council election slated for September 8.

The watchdog, Roscomnadzor, said Russian Federation would consider it interference in its sovereign affairs and a hostile influence should Google fails to respond to the request.

The determined opposition to some candidates being kept out of the Moscow election appears to have unsettled Russian authorities.

A group that monitors public meetings and mass protests in Russia, Beliy Schetchik, said it counted around 50,000 people at the demonstration but Russian police put the figure closer to 20,000.

OVD-Info said 79 people were also detained in St. Petersburg, 13 in Rostov-on-Don, two in Bryansk, and two more in Syktyvkar as "solidarity" rallies attracted smaller crowds there and in other cities. That year Google also removed YouTube videos uploaded by opposition leader Alexei Navalny, though the government's official rationale was that the videos violated laws prohibiting campaigning in the day before an election.

Police detained over 1,600 participants in the unauthorized demonstrations on July 27 and August 3 for various offenses, and then released majority.

Tens of thousands of Russians held their fourth demonstration in as many weeks in central Moscow on Saturday, protesting against police violence and in favour of free and fair elections.

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